Promoting an idea, cause, or project that is important to an organization isn’t just about creating positive visibility through media relations, but can also involve great events. Events can be a key component to building brand recognition, helping to strengthen community relations, establish trust and promote deeper connections. Whether a seminar, networking reception, ribbon cutting or fundraising gala, a well-thought-out event can reach your audience in new, compelling ways. However, to ensure success your event needs the right strategy.

When you begin outlining event concepts and logistics, be sure to define what you are trying to accomplish. What are your goals and objectives? Who is the audience you want to reach? What current or new message should it send? Keep these answers in mind as you outline your approach and tactical activities to make sure your event hits the target.

Prior to the event, make sure to outline key messages to convey to each of your target audiences. This is a chance to have your voice heard in front of an audience and to establish deeper connections to your objective.

Additionally, just like engaging employees is vital to a productive company, engaging your local community is crucial in building a strong brand presence. Community outreach opportunities and special events focus on fostering relationships throughout the community. Not only do they allow for local and business partnerships, but they bring together residents and visitors to enjoy the area learn more about what you have to offer.

After the event, you can use the great momentum and excitement as leverage for more activity. Think of the post-event as its own event. This “event after the event” makes it personal for all attendees. It will help to lock your group in and foster your relationships – both the ones you’ve had and the ones you’ve recently built.

And remember that the event is not only for attendees. Event organizers should keep in mind that there are many audience relationships happening simultaneously, such as media contacts, invitees who were unable to attend, and local residents and businesses. Through PR, key messages can be represented and delivered beyond the event itself.

-Shannon Thornton 

Image via Flickr account tylerhoff